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Tip of the Week
Tip of the Week! (archive)

Tips from our "Tip of the Week" series will be added here when they are moved from the front page.

WEEK SEVEN: THE "STOP" CARD

That red card in your box is there to help you: the Americans have stopped using it, but it remains in force in UK, so let's try to make it work!

1) The main idea is that when you JUMP in the auction, your opponent (LHO) might be taken unawares, and need a little more time to think. The STOP card thus allows you to give LHO a short period of extra thinking time. So you should put the STOP card down, make your bid, then wait 10-12 seconds before putting the STOP card away.

2) Now, the opponent (LHO) should also observe this process, ie LHO should wait until you put the STOP card away - and should NOT spend the 10-12 seconds clutcuhing the green pass card, as if to say "I'm not really thinking!"

The benefit is that it can help to ovoid those situations where it is suggested that your pause has given your partner Unauthorised Information.

WEEK SIX: SETTING UP and PUTTING AWAY

We are grateful to all the players who arrive early and set up the rooms on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; if you get there early some day, don't hesitate to offer to help - they won't be offended!

At the end of sessions, please close bidding boxes and fold table cloths, returning them to the storage boxes; an able-bodied player at the table should fold and stow away the table.

If you find you have gone home with the table number, please let us know, and return it to us!

One Director has requested that boards be returned to the silver box in order and the right way round!

Many thanks again for your co-operation!

WEEK FIVE: DIRECTOR, PLEASE!

Do PLEASE call the Director, nicely, to sort out muddles that happen after (eg) a revoke, an insufficient bid, a lead out of turn etc.

- Stronger players and off-duty TDs should not try to sort it out themselves; indeed, they can set an example by calling the Director against themselves!

- Directors will have the Rule Book with them (they're not expected to know it off by heart!) and will make sure that things are put right.

- Note that Directors are there to HELP, and if someone calls the Director, they're not suggesting you've cheated!

WEEK FOUR: MOBILES OFF/AWAY please!

Just a reminder to players not to use mobile phones during the sessions; and to ensure that if they are on/in pockets/etc they are on silent.

If you are a "doctor-on-call" of course you will need to have an alert set up; but otherwise, please keep the Club as a "social media-free zone"!

WEEK THREE: GREETING OPPONENTS:

When your new opps arrive at the table for a new round, greet them in a friendly way (it's time to STOP discussing your last bidding disaster - which is in any case best not discussed during the session!)

Do keep the greetings brief, however: make sure you play the two/three boards and save general chat and holiday catch-ups till after the boards have been played. 

And do join us at the bar for chat afterwards!

WEEK TWO: BRIDGEMATE CHECKING!!:

The Bridgemates can help hugely to speed up scoring and reduce errors, but it's really important that BOTH NS and EW take responsibility for ensuring that the right score goes in, against the correct bd number and in the right direction!

North should make the entry, and then pass to East (or West) to check score: Easts, please have a close look (board number: yes, contract (by whom?) yes, number of tricks: yes...

The Director is fully entitled to penalise both NS and EW if the score goes through wrong.

WEEK ONEOPENING LEAD:

At the end of the auction, the opening leader can/should ask any questions about the auction, then should place their opening lead face down on the table. (*Do this BEFORE entering the contract in score-card)

Why do we do all this?:

- This is the right time to ask for auction clarifications - non-leading partner can then ask further questions without influencing your lead.

- This process can help to avert leading out of turn - your partner can say "Don't lead, partner!" if it's not your lead, without penalty.

- Leading first, then entering contract saves a little time - you can enter contract (and, if North, do so on Bridgemate) while dummy is going down.